Talking to Strangers

Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
// The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

The day is well on its way in Xanadu Weyr, Rukbat is high in the sky, and the weather is comfortable, warm with a light breeze that provides occasional heat relief. The evenings might require a light jacket, and darkening clouds in the west hint at possible storms to come. The Mid-noon hour is full of industry, Xanadu's Weyrlings having been released from classes to attend to dragon care, today finds three pairs out on the beach. Two greens and one blue, all three riders female though the smallest and brightest colored green corresponds to the youngest of the trio. Evi's hair is pulled up in a runner tail behind her head, she's wearing loose pants that have been rolled to her knees and an oversized long sleeve shirt. Standing a meter in front of her is a spotted and striped half-grown green dragon, front end covered in blood, hide, and viscera from her latest foray into hunting. Obviously, SOMETHING died, but the amount of finesse involved might be up for sharp debate. There seems to be a conversation going on between the weyrlings, the downturned lips, and haughty hand on hips look that the blonde teen displays along with the eye-rolling from her older blue-riding peer hints that it might not be all friendly.

Another blue descends, one comparatively rather older, wings curled to catch air and slow he and his passengers down. He lands on the sand and immediately lays down on his stomach, so T'ana can unbuckle hreself and the dog before her. The saddle has been altered to add space for the mutt, who gets buckled in much like T'ana herself does. Strapped to each side of the dragon is a boar carcass; as one of the few who routinely hunt boar, T'ana's made a little business for herself, selling the meat to taverns and such. After Kor half-jumps, half-falls off Korvath, T'ana unbuckles herself and slips off as well, then begins to unfasten the carcass on her dragon's left side.

Weyrlings watch everything, every landing by an adult dragon gets special notice from the dragonets. These three are no exception, and every move made by the foreign blue and his rider are examined, all of them stop what they're doing, and the heated discussion is put on hold. As soon as the dog is noticed, Evi is leaving Neifeth behind, traipsing forward and trudging through the sand with an excited smile. "Um, Xanadu's greetings and such." Straightening up, raising her chin and saluting before dropping to her knees and patting her legs. "Is he friendly? Heeerree come heeree." Patting her legs to try and attract the canine to her. "Does he go everywhere with you??" Whatever was going on at the beach is being put on hold, Neifeth rumbling unhappily as she is no longer the center of attention.

Kor had been starting to try playing with Korvath by tackling the dragon's left forelimb, though the dragon wasn't having any of it. That the dog was left alone at all was likely a testament to his bond with his rider. As it was, he was glad when the other humans got the dog's attention, and he "accidentally" sends Kor tumbling toward them as he shifts position in the sand. Unsurprisingly, the mutt bounces up like nothing had happened. T'ana looks back and smiles as Kor happily trots over the approaching girl. "He does, yes, or at least nearly," she says, then grunts quietly as she hoists the boar onto her right shoulder. "He's been my friend all his life." With that she takes a few steps away and crouches, to ease the carcass to the sand.

As the dog goes tumbling Neifeth tilts her head up at the blue, cocking it to side and raising her maw in approval. A glimmer of bright pink, pink leaves float through this dragon's mindscape. The voice behind the green is harsh and sassy, sharp toned would be putting it mildly as she attempts to greet Korvath «Does yours not let you eat the pets either?» The excitement is palpable in Evi as she reaches out to happily receive the dog, quickly taking to petting and squeaking out consonants, "oooohh yeeeaahh, yeeee, ees, ess, esss.. Oooh who's a GEWD boi? Oh yass, oh hello, yess." The high pitched childishness gets a bigger snort from Neifeth, the green dragon flopping herself down. "Um, oh." Finally, she looks the woman up and down in front of her, "I'm um, Evi. Can I help you, Ma'am?" Suddenly realizing her current position and pausing in her canine adoration, eyes wide.

The water surrounded Korvath's thoughts; if there were such a thing as a water-dragon, it was he. He veritably itched to get out to the ocean, to dive and swim and "fly" underwater. That was why they landed at the beach rather than anywhere, at all, closer to the weyr. His "voice" was rich yet carried with it impatience, due to wanting to get out to the water. «Pets. A slobbering mess,» he "says". «Always wanting to tackle and bite and gnaw.» One day he'd gnaw on the mutt just to make a point. One day.
Meanwhile, T'ana looks down to the carcass, then back to Evie. "Ah, well—if you think you can carry it, you're welcome to it," she says, then starts heading around Korvath, ducking beneath his neck. "Else I can drag them in on some leather." She smiles warmly at the younger one, then ducks around to the other side of Korvath to begun unfastening the other carcass.

Neifeth's mind seems to be flexible, the pink leaves twist and turn until they're bright crimson feathers that gently caress. That light feeling of being touched that could also be a trick of the mind. «Mines do not slobber, they have no fur, mine has to make them hair. They would go down smooth.» Her desire to eat Evi's felines radiates as she wades further out into the water with her clutchmates.
Evi stands and brushes the sand off before eyeing the boars, "Um, I'm not that strong. I mean, I could help drag? It's only polite." Moving forward, she stands stark still and examines the entire rig on Korvath, "Um, did you make the harness for your hound yourself? I have wanted something similar, but um, maybe smaller." She seems uncertain of what to do and shifts her weight from foot to foot, dwaddling about in a way that could get her a rebuke from Weyrlingstaff. "How did you get these? Also, where are they going?" The soft fast voice is both sweet and a bit juvenile for her age, naturally curious.

Korvath began kneading the sand with his forelimbs, eyes swirling between impatience and indulgence. He sorely wanted to get out into the water, but-at the end of the day, he did care for his rider, and didn't want to hurry her. Besides, even he couldn't hate Kor /that/ much. Besides the mutt being named after him, at the end of the day, the dog was friendly and loving. It just didn't come out in ways Korvath liked, but that was neither here nor there. His attention is suddenly taken by the other boar being freed, and he looks back to T'ana.
"Hold on," she says to him, though with a smile. She sets the boar down, then starts unpacking a roll of leather and removing the straps that held the boar. She eases up onto the balls of her feet to peek over Korvath's back and look at Evie, saying, "Ahh—if you like, yes, it shouldn't be difficult to adapt, I hunted them, and they're going to the weyr. I think that covers all of it." The grin was audible in her voice, there.

Neifeth uses her riders distraction to swim out further in the surf. A *POP* and a group of young firelizards appear over the green, diving and dancing around her head while chittering at her. The group consists of one gold, a brown, a blue and a green. All four look to lack full growth. After a show of aerial acrobatics, the green organizes them with soft rumbles and snorts. They begin scrubbing the spotted green dragon while eating the scraps they can pull from her crevices, anything not washed away by the sea is free food. «Good evening tiny idiots, you're welcome.» The message sent to the firelizards is shared with everyone around, taking pride in having flunkeys.
Evi's eyes swiftly move over every inch of the straps, taking in the positioning of the buckles and stitch work. "Did you come up with the design yourself? DO you dye your own leather?" The boars are oggled at for a moment, her face squishing up in disgust. BLEH. "I have been working on Nei's strap, oh, Nei is," The pale teen points out the striped dragon covered in firelizards, "that one. With the spots. Well, I have had trouble with the dye bleeding out and making her itch. I've not had a lot of time to work on it, mostly because everyone thinks dying straps for a dragon who will outgrow them is dumb." Rolling her eyes and glaring over at her fellow Weyrlings, wrinkling her nose and shaking her head at them.

"Alright, go on," T'ana says with an affectionate pat to Korvath's right shoulder, and the dragon rises to his feet to hurry out to the water. He leaps out and glides a short distance, then plunges beneath the water with what can only be described as relief. Almost everyone wished, t least halfheartedly, to be something else, and he sometimes thought it might have been nice to be a sea creature of some kind.
T'ana watches him go, then she turns back to Evie. With something of a cheeky smile, she says, "So tell them that your Nei might outgrow them—but then you can give them to another. When they grow out of them, they can be given to another." with that she crouches and spreads out a square of leather, then starts shimmying one of the carcasses onto it, leaving room for the other.

Once Korvath has gotten in the water, Neifeth watches him, keeping her distance but paying attention to everything done. Dragonets are tiny sponges, learning from the adults just as Weyrling riders are. Raising herself from the water, she makes to try and launch herself into the air, and is quickly rebuked by Evi "NO." The young dragon pouts and sinks back into the surf, snapping half-heartedly at the blue firelizard. Evi rolls her eyes at her dragon, turning her attention back to her mount and sighing. "Cool it, or we can go to the bathing cavern." At the mention of donating her old straps, she nods, "I like that idea, Nei has a thing against charity but. Maybe if we find one of the greens from Leirith's clutch who could use them." Straightening up, she steps forward again, now closer than ever to the dead boar. "Ew.. doesn't your dragon mind carrying around corpses?" Narrowing her eyes in disgust and grimacing, "I don't think Nei would EVER let me put something dead on her unless it was a body we had to bury." A tiny giggle, as if some private joke might be missed. The idea of having to bury someone for her dragon funny to the teen.

Korvath swims by undulating his body not unlike some sea reptiles, using his wings as oversized fins to help him steer. As much as he enjoys being in the water, it lets him relax enough for a bit of play, if only a bit. He comes back toward the shallows, sticking his his nose above the water to spray the firelizards and dragonets, then he takes another breath before sinking his head down and turning for the deeper waters once more. There's something of a "chuckle" to his part of the mental connection, the sensations of water swirling around his thoughts becoming bubbly and babbling like a brook on a clear and calm day.
T'ana shrugs then scuttles to the other carcass and starts dragging it to and onto the leather. "Two rules of life," she says as she does so. "You kill before you are killed, and you help one another so they aren't killed. That's what life boils down to. Charity just means that you show another the kindness you want them to show you."

As Neifeth and her four peons get sprayed with water she dives down, all haughty offense and fluffy bird anger. HOW DARE. Slithering off towards the blue she is again stopped, Evi's eyes glazing over. The two other dragonets in the water are much further in their baths then Neifeth, given Evi has spent part of the free time talking instead of working. One of the older girls shakes her head at Evi and her larger green dragonet moves her head towards Neifeth. Whatever transpires brings the smaller, stripier, brighter dragon back towards her siblings. Evi watches her move the boar with a mix of respect and total disgust, you'd think someone with a dragon drenched in blood might have a stronger stomach. No such luck. Brown-green eyes glaze over and she sighs, "I am so sorry, Solcady is going to have Agadhith tell Charybdth if I make us late to our next lesson. I'll catch it if Neinei isn't oiled by then and she's dirty. If she and Aga weren't such big mouths i'd help. I will remember though, Nei isn't fond of kindness without reason." With that the girl takes off into the water, beckoning her dragon forward and scrubbing as fast as she can.

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